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Australia, Papua New Guinea sign security agreement

Australia, Papua New Guinea sign security agreement

 
- Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape meets his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese in Canberra
 

By Anadolu staff

ANKARA (AA) - Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) on Thursday signed a bilateral security agreement.

A joint statement, issued by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his PNG counterpart James Marape, said the deal will elevate their security relationship to advance shared security interests while contributing to their region’s security.

"The Agreement is a legally-binding framework to deepen our security cooperation – in traditional areas of defence, policing, border and maritime security, and also non-traditional areas of cyber security, climate change, gender-based violence and critical infrastructure," it said.

Earlier, Marape arrived on an official visit to Canberra along with his delegation.

The two premiers also held a bilateral meeting and discussed issues related to regional security and climate change.

"The Agreement fulfils a commitment under our Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership. Consistent with our shared commitment to transparency, the Agreement will be publicly available," the joint statement said.

Australia also announced a commitment of AUD200 million ($130 million) in support of PNG’s national security priorities.

Under the agreement, PNG will establish a Port Moresby-based Police Recruit and Investigations Training Centre with Australia’s support. The Centre will enable PNG to recruit and train a larger and more capable force, it said.

The security agreement between the two countries will be viewed as a countermeasure to China's growing influence in the region.

Last year, China signed a security agreement with PNG's neighboring Solomon Islands.

In May this year, the US inked a defense pact with PNG that grants the US military "unimpeded access" to key defense facilities in the island nation, including the joint PNG-Australia Lombrum Naval Base on Manus Island.

The 15-year defense cooperation agreement was made public for the first time in June after it was proposed in the island nation's parliament.

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